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Despite ban, waste burning continues in Okhla polluting air and causing illness

To curb pollution due to the toxic smog hovering over Delhi for days, the Delhi Government on Sunday in an emergency Cabinet meeting announced a slew of measures including under relevant provisions of the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act for prohibition open burning of leaves/garbage and other steps.

However, the prohibition is being flouted in Okhla, a deprived locality in Delhi with the government’s order saying if any garbage/dry leaves burning is observed, the officer of concerned jurisdiction will be held personally responsible.

An Okhla resident Shaukat Ali said: “Trash is being burned in Okhla Vihar nearby DDA Janta Flat. I have taken a few photos too. Many residents lamented that burning of garbage/dry leaves is not something new in the locality. And some people have been doing this despite the fact that it further adds to the prevailing pollution due to which schools have been shut by the Government, said residents, adding that burning of garbage and green waste is rampant in the locality and as winter comes several residents can be seen warming themselves with such materials.

Earlier, reports had surfaced that burning garbage may attract Rs 1 lakh fine. It is another story that then several experts had called the fine unpractical.

The NGT in its order had said: “It is on record before us that burning of garbage and other materials are not only source of air pollution but forms 29.4 per cent of air pollution with reference to PM10.”

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